25 July 2014

The NFL: Is the player suspension policy broken? Or just a reflection of the values we hold as a society?

An article in the Huffington Post outlines some of the idiotic rules and regulations the National Football League (NFL) has when it comes to punishing players for off the field behavior. To paraphrase, Ray Rice, who is popularly regarded as a superstar, received a 2 game suspension for knocking his partner out and dragging her around a hotel on video (trigger warning on the link). Other star athletes around the league have been suspended for an entire season for testing positive for marijuana. The punishment for a drug that is rapidly being decriminalized is eight times has harsh as beating a women in the eyes of the NFL.

I think it’s easy to say that the system is messed up. But we as Men in the Movement have to go deeper. We have to understand why this is a reality so that we can enter into conversations about gender based violence with other men. This is a perfect example of how we can use relatable “man topics” to reframe messed up realities in our society.

In this case,

24 July 2014

Why it’s important for Men in the Movement to talk about Eliot Rodger

On Saturday, May 24th, 2014, Elliot Rodger killed six people and himself in Isla Vista, California outside of the University of California, Santa Barbara. The initial coverage of the incident indicated that Rodger was a White male. But according to his manifesto, Rodger identifies as “Eurasian”. Both mainstream coverage and the blogosphere did not dive into the nuances of mixed race masculinity, which in this case was an integral component missing from the overall discussion about violent masculinity and misogyny in our culture. As members of Men in the Movement, we need to bring these issues to the forefront.

However, making the connection between mixed race identity and masculinity can be difficult. My purpose today is to provide context, insight, and language around the nuances of mixed masculinity. I will do this by talking about my personal experience as well as my thoughts on Elliot Rodger’s Manifesto so that we can begin to have these conversations in our communities. To do this, I will start with basic gender socialization, then move into how that is complicated by race, while talking about how that has personally affected me. From there, I will talk about Rodger’s Manifesto from a mixed race male perspective.